I mentioned it to Mama over the webcam.
"I kicked him to the curb, Mama," I said. "It wasn't meant to be."
"I hope you have six others lined up then," she replied, to which I say INTERNET. DO YOU SEE WHERE I GET IT FROM?
Papa yelled through to the family study to say, "I hope you were gracious about it!" I knew he had been listening in. Two days ago my British friend happened to be over whilst Mama had given me a quick call and as soon as Papa heard a male voice from my end he was all up in that webcam's business with the And what is your name then, son?'s and the Have you left your bedroom door open?'s. It was like the time he met my first proper boyfriend for the first ever time and shook his hand and didn't say anything, he just sort of nodded and watched the poor boy squirm.
I stared at the webcam. "Are you kidding me?" I said. "Ever since the day James Riley turned up at our door when I was eleven years old, on Valentine's Day, with a stuffed bear and a fudge bar for me, and I was so mortified with embarrassment that I hid in the downstairs loo until you frog marched me to the front door with a lecture on the importance of being gracious when on the receiving end of such grand gestures of romance, I have been the ULTIMATE gracious dumper. Pur-lease. A girl doesn't forget a talking to like that. I was expecting you to bollock HIM for coming near me, not me for turning down his advances. In fact, you SHOULD have bollocked him. I was ELEVEN!" Almost a full year off of getting drunk in the park on white cider and trying to stumble into the house without anybody hearing. Oh to be young. "The bloody moon-faced dick wouldn't leave me alone for WEEKS afterward at school. It was DEVASTATING."
I took a deep breath as Papa poked his head through from the kitchen.
"Loobie," he said seriously. "You need to learn to let shit go."